April 8 (1)

  1. I tried to think of a title for a list
  2. I talked with one of my oldest friends and got an idea for a new song
  3. I thought more about the song, and I sat down at the piano and tried out some chords, that were nice chords, but for a different song
  4. I washed many dishes three separate times
  5. I sent Maggie to school with cereal for lunch because we are low on groceries and she doesn’t like hard-boiled eggs
  6. I noticed the leaves beginning to emerge on the fig tree
  7. I went for a walk with Maggie to listen
  8. I washed all of the napkins and towels but I got the kids to fold them, mostly
  9. I broke up an argument using my loud voice that I don’t like
  10. I put things back in order
  11. I didn’t hide or disappear
  12. I wanted to write about wanting
  13. I sang loud silly songs
  14. I played the piano with the windows open
  15. I drank coffee outside in the quiet
  16. I heard a tufted titmouse (my favorite) and a carolina wren
  17. I opened an email about places to submit short stories
  18. I thought about my abandoned novel and wondered if it was time
  19. I eyed the violets growing in my yard with curiosity
  20. I noticed my sauerkraut jar was empty and thought about chopping cabbage finely and looked at the ingredients on the label

April 10 (2)

  1. i loaded a wheelbarrow countless times with licorice-smelling leaf mulch
  2. i washed dirt off of my face
  3. i put on a ring and took it off
  4. i met someone new. i don’t remember her name but her daughter was called Ellie.
  5. i earned my rest
  6. i played music from a new book. I never thought Bach was beautiful before.
  7. i dressed too warmly
  8. i ate dinner outside
  9. i read a book in bed in the morning
  10. i smelled the oregano, but not the lemon balm
  11. I FOUND A POPPY!!!
  12. i felt peaceful, like there was no hurry or agenda
  13. i loaded the dishwasher and later i put the dishes away
  14. i ate cheese and crackers and olives outside and heard another wren
  15. i used my patient voice all day
  16. i drank a saturday-sized mug of coffee with cream and foamy milk (both!)
  17. i admired the brilliant blossoms of my once-neglected Christmas cactus and thought of Inma and my lemon tree
  18. i felt the coldness of a stone but i didn’t press it to my face
  19. i hoped for a message that didn’t come
  20. i looked online for vaccine appointments

April 11 (3)

  1. I sat at my desk in the dark, lamp on, writing a list
  2. I noticed a small japanese chirimen doll charm i have by my desk, she is holding an instrument and is meant to bring music to my life. i chose her, 11 years ago, and have had her sitting near me since then, mostly unseen, but working her magic. I remember not being sure what to choose. And choosing her with her little instrument.
  3. I played Bach again
  4. I made a recording for Amanda
  5. I watched for lightning with Sam out of the upstairs window
  6. I worried about the stiffness in my hands and then told my hands all the things i appreciate them for doing
  7. i washed a load of laundry and spilled mulch from the clothes onto the floor
  8. i paused at dinner to breathe and taste my food
  9. i said thank you
  10. i looked at my phone and decided not to pick it up
  11. i smiled with my eyes
  12. i saw a salamander disappear under the leaves
  13. i planted a lilac and admired my spring beauties
  14. i felt excited about a new idea for a novel. well, sort of a new idea
  15. i made an appointment to get vaccinated
  16. i baked buttermilk biscuits using a new recipe
  17. i tried to hear a chickadee
  18. i wondered how leaves can emerge so rapidly
  19. i read in bed for the second morning in a row
  20. i woke up when my son climbed in next to me to cuddle

April 12 (4)

  1. I heard the word protective and thought about it
  2. I noticed a feeling in my body
  3. I wondered what would be helpful. What could be shared
  4. I think I saw a kestrel
  5. I did my best to finish something that remains unfinished
  6. I received an offer for work that I haven’t yet accepted
  7. I played two games of Battleship and put all my ships around the edges
  8. I tried my hardest not to have an answer
  9. I received a real letter in the mail from a friend with pecan trees
  10. I realized sometimes I don’t write things because I don’t want other people to feel sad
  11. I reminded myself not to over-read the room
  12. I listened to the rain and felt happy for my plants
  13. I ordered some peaberry coffee beans
  14. I wiped the kitchen counter so it will be clean in the morning
  15. I closed all of the windows and sat under a blanket
  16. I worried about Will and Lyra
  17. I played two duets
  18. I ate Doritos in the basement
  19. I forgot to clean Sam’s lunchbag
  20. I felt happy seeing my reflection

April 15 (5)

  1. i sang in the car, with gusto
  2. i danced in the den, briefly, and also with gusto
  3. i noticed my mind felt overfull, like i can’t find all of the strings when i want them
  4. i wanted to hide and i sat down at the piano instead
  5. i thought about all of this hiding, about protection, about changing stories
  6. i received a book in the mail. Opening towards the beginning the first words that caught my eye: “Then invent.”
  7. i tried to think of names for two kinds of satellites. That brought me to another new idea for a novel. I don’t think it ends well
  8. i noticed the hair growing more thickly on Sam’s upper lip
  9. i also turned the heat back on
  10. i decided i’m not someone who wears leggings
  11. i had a second cup of coffee
  12. i worked on my ebook, even though i didn’t have a lot of time
  13. i wondered and worried that maybe i had offended someone. i imagined asking her about it
  14. i checked on my poppies (there are two now)
  15. i ran lines with Maggie
  16. I felt restless and wondered why
  17. i did the things that needed to be done
  18. i tried to remember something differently
  19. i imagined a story I might write
  20. i felt myself breathe deeply

April 16 (6)

  1. i made the bed and noticed there is still a pillow missing
  2. i wondered how many times you can wear pajamas without washing them
  3. i saw my face on the computer screen
  4. i was looking at a woman who seemed very tired
  5. i gave thanks for the green and the light and the sweetness
  6. i heard a child howl in frustration
  7. i saw that same child beam with pride
  8. i sat with my legs up on the table
  9. i played my Bach and loved that one chord every single time
  10. i wrapped up in my blanket
  11. i hoped i hadn’t said too much
  12. i tried to explain something
  13. i wrote a test
  14. i worked on my ebook again and came to a conundrum
  15. i felt the world was falling apart, not that i felt surprised, but dismayed
  16. i got two messages that felt like a change in the weather
  17. i connected new words
  18. i woke from a dream and remembered it wasn’t real
  19. i smelled the lilac
  20. i was moved to tears, quietly, so no one would hear

April 18 (7)

eager son woke me
lay in bed considering
decided to bend

sipped frothy coffee
while listening to birdsong
and my thoughts churning

took notebook outside
every sound became focused
writing with my hand

chose a sabbath meal
picked flowers with my daughter
my son laid the plates

all worked together
to move the last of the mulch
then swang, looking up

tree’s top was higher
than i had ever noticed
i prayed it was strong

piled into the car
to set off on adventure
the car did not start

woke thought decided
sipped listened churned heard wrote chose
picked swang prayed and piled

April 19 (8)

April 21 (9)

  1. i spoke a list out loud in the car, including many details that occurred as I was speaking
  2. i read about a man condemned
  3. i read about a brother
  4. i saw four cranes clustered close together and wondered how many buildings will be built, will those cranes be there always? I can’t remember the skyline without them
  5. i saw a blue jay flashing his iridescence. i remembered they are mean. then i thought: they are blue jays, that’s what they were built to do. it’s their nature
  6. the color blonde was brought to my attention and I thought about it
  7. i reminded myself to find my patience
  8. i found it and held onto it, with gentleness
  9. i reminded myself that there are many difficulties of being 8 and 10. I thought about eating lunch in a classroom, in enforced silence, facing the wall, 6 feet away from any friend, and being reminded that I must chew with my mouth closed
  10. i reminded myself that there are plenty of more difficult circumstances too
  11. I ATE A VIOLET. I picked a white one and a purple one and had a taste test. The white one tasted much better, nuttier. Now I want to go on a tour and taste everything in the yard. Well, except the poisonous ones. Is a white violet still called a violet? (It has purple specks.)
  12. I ate chocolate to change how I was feeling. It was delicious, but I felt the same
  13. I said: it’s a paradox that I love trash day. I love that it goes away while knowing there is no away
  14. i sat at the piano with Maggie and began to write a song together. After we finished, she held my hand
  15. I ate dinner cooked by someone else and I did not wash the dishes (In this case that means I will wash the dishes later because heaven knows there are still a lot of them.)
  16. i continued to format my ebook. Chapter by chapter… Almost ready
  17. i drove in the pouring rain
  18. i thought about frogs. I wondered what to say about them. I wondered about saying: once i was madly in love with a German herpetologist who disappeared into the forest in Guyana. When he came back, I was engaged to another man. Who I married. My feelings about frogs are… i maintain a deep attachment to frogs, especially the tiny tree frogs with the little round toes
  19. i heard a fox shouting in the dark
  20. i looked back at what i’ve written here in the past 23 days and I felt happy

April 22 (10)

  1. I formatted several chapters in my ebook. It gives me an energy to work on the next book
  2. I have not bought myself a pair of headphones in 20 years. I bought some today
  3. I watched YouTube videos to learn how to do something. I do not watch YouTube videos to learn how to do things. I did today
  4. I downloaded a new app today. I don’t use apps to learn things. I did today
  5. I sat with my son while he used another new app to learn the ukulele. He learned so much. So much is possible
  6. I did what I wanted
  7. I let myself
  8. I ate some chocolate and again did not feel different
  9. I used my new toy to record myself at the piano
  10. I noted there will be a learning curve
  11. I thought: Matthew could help me
  12. I thought: why is it hard for me to ask for help?
  13. I said thank you to the earth
  14. I listened on purpose to a song I had never heard before
  15. I felt aggravated with so many songs about the same old garbage
  16. I thought: that’s probably not fair. But still
  17. I saw something that might have been a very large hornet. I did not wish her well but thought that I should
  18. I made a chart
  19. I added salt to my lentil soup
  20. I almost forgot to put the laundry into the dryer

April 23 (11)

  1. i took a shower first thing in the morning
  2. i drank coffee in my car
  3. i tried to answer my children’s questions about police and intention and power and force
  4. i sat outside with a friend
  5. i finished stage one of formatting my ebook
  6. i found a solution
  7. i said something out loud that was on my mind
  8. it wasn’t elegant, but i think it landed well anyway
  9. i wrote something that amused me
  10. i laughed out loud
  11. i worked on learning something new
  12. i heard something differently
  13. and it brought tears to my eyes
  14. i tried to hide it in the sound of my voice
  15. i wondered if i could do something, i decided to try
  16. i ate olives and cheese
  17. i had a second cup of coffee
  18. i marveled at the sound of a song through decent headphones
  19. i loaded the dishwasher. i unloaded the dishwasher. i loaded the dishwasher
  20. i watched two cardinals and wondered if one was following the other’s lead
  21. i ran out of time for an experiment

April 25 (12)

What I seek

  1. response
  2. praise
  3. safety
  4. admiration
  5. appreciation
  6. relationship
  7. dialogue
  8. input
  9. recognition
  10. pleasure
  11. nourishment
  12. nurture
  13. hope
  14. peace
  15. enough
  16. stillness
  17. quiet
  18. vastness
  19. resonance
  20. harmony

What I see

  1. pillow
  2. phone
  3. sweatpants
  4. blanket
  5. mug
  6. cardinal
  7. pancakes
  8. dishsoap
  9. elbow grease
  10. baseboards
  11. bouquets
  12. wind
  13. bath towel
  14. muddy boots
  15. mashed potatoes
  16. comb
  17. spyglass
  18. toothbrush
  19. pillow
  20. keyboard

What I do

  1. drift
  2. check
  3. dress
  4. straighten
  5. listen
  6. feel / notice
  7. load
  8. combine
  9. supervise
  10. serve
  11. taste
  12. refrain
  13. instill
  14. observe
  15. acquiesce
  16. scrub
  17. adjudicate
  18. comfort
  19. discern
  20. explore

April 26 (13)

.1) first thing, maggie came in and asked for a hug. i wrapped my body around hers on the bed, laying my leg across her. i noted as i did it that i was never hugged in this manner. bodies were kept apart. i thought of Ajike sending love to her past selves. I sent a hug, a full body hug, to my 10-year-old self and i felt my guts shift, i felt breath enter.

.2) second thing, downstairs, sam came sleepy and asked me to come and hug him on the couch. i sat down and hugged him with my whole body. as i did this, i sent love to my brother’s 8-year-old self who was never hugged in this manner. bodies always kept apart. again, my guts, my breath, my son’s breath.

  1. i wasn’t really writing about weeds
  2. i wondered if that would be clear
  3. i had a nice visit, though i often don’t know what to say
  4. and then i thought i would spend time in my work
    a word that i note, but feel does not have to be connected to the mill
  5. i stacked up ‘things to be dealt with’
  6. and noticed an article i had been saving for over a week
  7. so i decided to read it
  8. and while reading it there was mention of a news item i had not heard of when it happened
  9. it was something disturbing, violent
  10. and i thought to myself: why are you going to read about that now?
  11. but i did
  12. and i haven’t recovered
  13. i keep imagining
  14. dave suggested i sit at the piano and that helped
  15. the sun was brilliant with a light breeze. i thought: the world can be such a beautiful place
  16. i played the piano gently. i thought of people who are scared, people who are hurt by other people, i sent them comfort, i wished comfort for them then and now
  17. i prayed to something for people to get what they need. protection, support, understanding
  18. i watched something funny
  19. i sat with my new headphones on, blocking out the sound, keeping the world a bit muffled
  20. i reminded myself of an idea i had this morning, about something that would be fun to make, and about a man i know who is sick and who likes to read my writing
  21. i hope next time i will listen to my own hesitation

April 27 (14)

  1. i noticed my curiosity today
  2. i tried to distinguish different kinds of curiosity
  3. why i want to know more in a situation
  4. and will it serve me or pull me away
  5. something worse than weeds, more difficult to uproot
  6. i wondered about lists
  7. without constraints
  8. is it a list or prose in a series of numbered lines?
  9. what makes me move to the next line?
  10. i worked on my ebook
  11. cover excepted, it may be ready tomorrow
  12. i wrote a new introductory note to go with the ebook
    i like it, but it needs a little fermentation
  13. news stories of a particular nature are detrimental to my balance
  14. they are unnecessary as well, i would like to learn this lesson
  15. they can sneak up on you, i would like to be vigilant
  16. i think i am what Matthew might call an HSP
    i didn’t know
  17. i saw a large group of bluejays flying overhead. i remembered when i said that they were mean the other day. they were beautiful in flight. just doing their bluejay thing.
    i ate ice cream twice
    and had two cups of coffee
    i noticed a new flower and didn’t know it’s name
    i thought to take a picture but did not
    i was glad to see Inma’s name
    and a variety of hearts
  18. it is fun to work within constraints
  19. i am a constraint, myself
  20. what will i create within that constraint?
  21. we shall see
  22. we are seeing

April 28

speaking of constraints
this human body requires
eight hours of sleep

April 29 (15)

  1. My brain was a pile of mush
  2. It was hard for me to know what i thought, let alone find words to express it
  3. I noted yesterday that I had returned to a pattern
  4. So i made a change:
  5. When I was [tired] I did not eat something sweet
    I did not read the news
    I did not have a second cup of coffee
    I did not find an electronic diversion
  6. Feel free to substitute restless, anxious, scared or a similar word for tired in #5
  7. Having not read, consumed, or diverted all day I fell asleep instantaneously
  8. I woke up refreshed
  9. I said, I’d like to do that again
    but it will be hard because i will be tired, and restless, and anxious, and scared or a similar word, but i would like to try
  10. I did try
  11. I wanted to change my chemicals
  12. But i did not go to any of the old stand-bys to do so
  13. I tried to change them by watching petals falling off of the dogwood and be blown by the wind
  14. I tried to change them by focusing on finishing something that mattered to me
  15. I tried to change them by doing a silly dance to make my kids laugh
  16. i tried to change them by chewing my healthy food and noticing how it tasted in my mouth
  17. my reward is that my ebook, i think, will be live tomorrow
  18. and that my body feels even
  19. it is not asking for anything right now but this
  20. and when my head touches that pillow five minutes from now, i will rest peacefully

May 1 (16)

  1. On Friday I read a post by Sue where she included a quote: Show me who you walk with and I’ll tell you who you are
  2. I read another from Gail: The student within us is looking for time-management skills, while the teacher within us is offering a different way of apprehending reality.~Mark Nepo, The Book of Soul
    I remembered that Gail’s birthday just past and I never told her that for her birthday I bought myself a copy of her book ; )
  3. I read about Sana’s new writing desk
  4. I read Timmy’s Saturday songwriting post, noticed his new photo in the corner, and recognized I was understanding more chord theory and suddenly wanted to listen to David Bowie
  5. Inma wrote: I wrote the intention of the day on the calendar: CARING
    I noticed and thought: intention of the day
  6. Beverly wrote: I ate some of them cold because they were ice cream
    I laughed out loud and wondered if Beverly remembered that I was eating daytime ice cream this week as well
  7. Beverly wrote: I am realizing I have more choices than I think
    I smiled
  8. I added another book to my list thanks to Helena
  9. I baked a carrot cake with Maggie
  10. I called an old friend on her birthday
  11. I bought plants that hummingbirds and butterflies will like
  12. I received a message from my sister
  13. Sitting in my car at the soccer field, i read a note from Aaron that made me smile
  14. I noticed the wind with Matthew and Amanda and Sana
  15. I received a message from my brother
  16. I helped Dave hold a beam for the treehouse construction
  17. I spoke with another mother and i noted how considerate she is. I thought: there are beautiful things to notice about the people who cross our paths
  18. I ate a bagel for the first time in over a year. While we were sitting at the table Sam said: we will remember that day we had delicious bagels for Dad’s birthday. We will
  19. I gathered my instruments, I offered myself as an instrument, I asked for guidance and I listened to my heart
  20. It told me that it feels happy to be walking with all of you

May 2 (17)

May 3 (18)

  1. i had a day in my house alone for the first time in over 400 days, 8 hours in proximity with no one but myself and my dog
  2. when the dishes were washed and the bed made, i sat down at my table and wrote until i felt clear, until my head and my body and heart felt agreement with the life of the world
  3. i made a cup of coffee and realized i had forgotten how. Dave has been making the coffee for the past 400 days
  4. i took my book outside to read with my coffee
  5. i threw the ball for Otis
  6. i noticed a few raindrops and when there were more than a few turned to go inside
  7. i turned the door handle but it had locked itself from the inside like it does on occasion. This is not a problem when there are three other people inside
  8. i prayed my neighbor was home because the only other key was over two hours out of town. I thought about breaking in through the basement – the windows need replacing anyway. I laughed a little thinking about my one day home alone in 400 days being spent locked outside and away from all of my instruments
    (it literally just occurred to me that i’ve been writing about ‘picking up my instruments’ and ‘being an instrument’ and i never once connected that thought to musical instruments until this moment) But yes, home alone, wanting to sit at my piano and make some unobserved, just for me, loud and squeaky as i want sounds, and then to be locked out
  9. i knocked on my neighbor’s door and no one answered. I called to her through the door, she came out. She had a key. She knew where it was. She gave it to me
  10. Back inside my house, I finished reading a book. I did not want to talk about it. I wanted very much to talk about it
  11. I filled out a spreadsheet
  12. I looked at columns of numbers
  13. i paid some bills
  14. I played a game pretending I could give away a fortune
    I thought it was interesting how the scale of wealth has been brought to my attention repeatedly in the past 24 hours. This feels like ripples
  15. I sat at the piano. I sang whatever I wanted. No one was listening. I practiced. I recorded. I experimented
  16. I joined a nourishing and wonderful conversation that left me feeling surprisingly hopeful. And made me want to read another book that I will not enjoy
  17. I sat at a table and helped with math homework
  18. I ordered takeout and watched The Cutting Edge with my daughter while she drank an entire enormous milkshake
  19. When they returned, I checked Dave and Sam for ticks
  20. I read a blog post asking the question: What did you actually do today for the thing(s) you say you love? And, reading that, I felt like it had been a very good day.

May 4 (19)

  1. has today only been one day?
  2. i woke up in some fashion, knowing i had to fill two lunchboxes by a fixed deadline
  3. had the pressing need to fill lunchboxes not presented itself, i possibly would have slept longer
  4. well, not slept exactly, just laid there for a little while longer
  5. i filled the lunchboxes with as much creativity as one bagel, a little yogurt, a few apples and a few bananas, and some baby carrots (!) (and some frozen cherries) would allow
  6. what happened next? i sat down at the computer and edited the old version
  7. then i had coffee
    i guess i should have started with that
  8. i got to dream and plan and talk about making something fun, an adventure
  9. i am part of a team
  10. i wondered if i was becoming a (rhymes with itch)
  11. i said, no, you are learning to speak aloud. You are finding the edges. You are being and not hiding
  12. i wrote some pages. i said: i am here. i said hello to my ancestors and that meant the apes all the way down. everything that came before and all of the wisdom of life for millions of years that went into this life being here now. i said: how do i know what to do in this moment, heart? I wrote: [the world doesn’t respond to me, i respond to the world]
  13. i paused. the world doesn’t respond to me, i respond to the world. i wrote: [listening for the intersection of world and heart]
  14. i ate some leftover caesar salad from Saturday night
  15. i moved on the May section of my kernel journal. Noticing that the end of April had been somewhat haphazard
  16. i exercised my hands on the keyboard, up and down and up and down. I can feel myself improving
  17. i started to write a new story. i stopped writing a new story
  18. i curled Maggie’s hair when she asked me to
  19. i cooked spanish rice and black beans for the tacos
  20. i colored with my favorite markers

May 5 (20)

  1. My coffee was delicious though I drank it inside because of the rain
  2. My son asked for a cuddle. I wondered when he would be too big and was thankful the answer was not yet
  3. My morning reflection followed the course that’s been developing over the past week
    I am here
    and glad to be
    hello: ancestors (can include apes) (can include algae) (all wisdom and experience of all life ever)
    hello: life of the world (which includes ancestors)
    let go of my agenda
    am i willing to serve today? body, are you in?
    how can i know what to do in this moment (thinking, thinking)
    heart, can you help clear this up (yes) (i can)
  4. today my body had some feeling of unwillingness: to let go of the agenda, to approach the day from a place of service
  5. i wrote: if something feels difficult or uncomfortable am i willing to lovingly be with myself, not forcing or shaming or shoulding but hold my own hand (and then came the aha moment): OR ASK FOR HELP! Am i willing to ask for help and reach out for the things that feel challenging?
  6. my answer: i am certainly willing to try
  7. i thought throughout the day about asking for help
  8. for some reason, at this moment, this is bringing to my mind Ajike’s brick
  9. and now i’m thinking about synchronicity which is, apparently, a term created by Jung
  10. i uploaded my ebook (Jenny Goodguts) to Amazon – almost live!!!
  11. i thought about asking people who have read the book to write reviews on Amazon. I haven’t done that yet. It is difficult for me
  12. i know it is difficult for everyone. i know i’m not unique in that way
  13. and since i’m asking for help, it is something i can do, will do
  14. there are two reviews for my book on Amazon at the moment. One of them says:
    Reading this book is like hanging out with a friend — who understands the stress of juggling family and work while longing to be creative in your own neurotic way. Thanks, Jenny for being brave enough to sing out!
    I guess I hadn’t picked up on the neurotic part before…
  15. I was feeling very talkative. Very at ease. Very much like sharing. Among friends
  16. I wanted some cheap dopamine. And I talked myself out of it. Remember, I said, you don’t want to get back into that loop
  17. I decided to make a new kind of list to see what I’ve made and what I’ll make next
  18. i caught up in my kernel journal
  19. i had some ideas that i didn’t write down at the time. they are floating somewhere, to be found again later
  20. i wondered about what happened to the Neanderthals

May 6 (21)

  1. I don’t know what the planets are doing right now, but seems like it’s something
  2. I asked for help today
  3. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be
  4. And when it arrived, it felt like a hug
  5. I accomplished one difficult task before my morning reflection
  6. After that I said: how can it not be a good day, that task is done
  7. I’m embarrassed to even describe the task, because it wasn’t difficult
  8. it just felt that way before i did it. afterwards, it is clearly as simple as picking up the phone and speaking to someone for 5 minutes and making a small decision that involves the schedule of three people
  9. After taking care of that task, i looked at my pile and picked the next piece of paper up, another piece that felt difficult
  10. did it
  11. I read about a heart-shaped rock. I picked up the rock at my desk and held it, cool, in my hand. It is shaped more like a bean, though maybe it resembles an anatomically correct heart. This rock chose me in the summer and has been sitting next to me as I type every day since then
  12. my reflection took a turn today
    when i said: i let go of my agenda i paused. today i wrote
    nothing has to happen. there’s nothing to prove and no price to pay
    and instead of the question: am i willing to serve today? i wrote
    i respond to the life of the world
    i live in the flow of the life of the world
    how can you play with the life of the world?
    how can i love the life of the world today?
    i am willing and wanting to love the life of the world today
    i can ask for help to love the life of the world today
    that felt like an interesting shift
  13. that was when i asked for help
  14. and then i did another thing that had felt overwhelming for the past year, i removed an obligation and it feels so much lighter
  15. i went for a walk
  16. i started a new blog post, it will be my first since March
  17. i played the piano
  18. i was very sleepy
  19. i removed a spider from the wall very carefully and set her outside
  20. i heard a Great Crested Flycatcher

May 9 (22)


scarlet tanager
conspicuously brazen
magnetically red


peonies, roses
salvia, lilac, clover
calendula, mint


my children today
scanned me for imperfections
and found a handful


had i begun this
list earlier maybe i
could have reached twenty

May 10 (24)

  1. i note that 24 is a nice number, one of my favorite
  2. i like that it is made of 2 and 4, divisible by 3 and 12 and 8
  3. i can’t think of a number i don’t like, come to think of it
    77 – great number
    38 – well, i’m sure i can think of something nice to say about 38
    but it’s not as cool a number maybe as some of the others
  4. i’m thinking that 24 might be a good number of lists, for now
  5. that maybe moving to a new form would be good for me, for now
  6. (that’s a maybe, i note)
  7. it’s a delightful format, that invites so much possibility
  8. i can go anywhere from here, back to breakfast
  9. only coffee today
  10. or forward to thoughts about tomorrow
  11. do i have any? what happens tomorrow? blug.
  12. sigh. i’m tired. oh, tomorrow i do some editing work.
  13. i like it when people write something special next to #13, i notice it with pleasure
  14. my mother was a math teacher
  15. she also wanted to write, but lived in a different time and was told different stories about roles and permission and genius
  16. she is still alive
  17. my husband is on the phone in the next room, i am mostly able to block out his conversation but sometimes it is distracting
  18. today i protected some of my time
  19. i put something in the trash to be burned. I said: when you are burned you can become part of the earth again. And then i didn’t feel sad. I thought: i wish i could turn more of this (****) back into earth. And then i thought: if you don’t buy it in the first place, it stays earth.
  20. sorting through my things, my ability to identify what sparks joy has definitely grown
  21. my ability to feel the joy it sparks has also grown
  22. i had a stuffed bear as a child, named Newt. I slept with him for years and years, I brought him to college. At some point, his nose tore open. I repaired it, once. But one day Maggie needed some stuffing for a little pillow she had sewn and I let her take some of the stuffing from inside of Newt’s nose. He was already a bit deflated. And then last year I decided that Newt could return to the earth. I pulled out all of his stuffing and put it in a bag so that we could use it to stuff other pillows. And then I put his polyester shell into the trash and said goodbye. I found the bag of stuffing yesterday. This 40-year-old stuffing and I finally let that go too. We have made no more pillows. Maybe we will – I will figure out the stuffing if and when that occurs. All of Newt can now RIP.
  23. I named the bear after a boy in my class who I liked in 6th grade (I think the bear didn’t have a name and then one day he did). When we were in high school, Newt the boy wrote the funniest sentences during vocabulary tests when he didn’t know what the words meant. One of the vocabulary words was ‘panacea.’ His birthday was November 12th. Twelve has long been and still is my favorite number.
  24. My grandfather had known Newt’s grandfather. I didn’t know that until much later. Newt’s grandfather had been to Princeton and mine had not. Newt’s grandfather had been given a position with the bank rather than my grandfather who had not been to Princeton and this was something my grandfather mentioned in his old age with some frequency.
  25. He had a beautiful sparkle in his eye.
  26. My grandfather did too, by all accounts.
  27. He was married four times, my grandmother was the second.
  28. My grandmother had been in love with someone else who gave her poetry books before he left for World War II. I have the books though she never mentioned the man to me – i have looked for clues and heard snippets from my mom. The man, I believe, married a woman he met in France.
  29. she always had plants in her bathtub, my grandmother. her apartment smelled like cigarettes and potting soil and her dog tina and some kitchen smell that wasn’t garlic. She let me fill coffee cups with whipping cream from a spray can and eat it with a spoon.
  30. i let my kids do that the other day. i saw a can of whipped cream at the store and i brought it home and we ate the whole can in one sitting.
  31. i’m reading Sapiens right now. It’s very interesting directly after Ishmael. I have many thoughts and I keep wanting to write them down…
  32. i’m very tired
  33. i don’t feel like giving up
  34. but a little bit i do
  35. i don’t know what that looks like
  36. maybe it just looks like a couple of days of resting
    knowing it will be okay
  37. i don’t allow myself to cry at home. the reason is because, for instance, imagine i am watching a movie with my family. and it is coming to an emotional scene. my kids feel that little tickle in the corner of their eyes, they know they feel an emotion. and immediately they look at me: is she going to cry? as soon as i start to feel like i might, maggie looks at me immediately, she knows because she feels it too. But then she says: don’t cry. And i don’t. And now, if i feel i might, i hide it. It’s just a bit awkward to be examined so closely and watched. It changes the whole dynamic. I’m just noticing. We were reading a book, I felt like crying, but i looked up at the ceiling instead. It would be good for them, I guess, to see my emotions. I didn’t stop on purpose.

May 11 (25)

  1. oh friends
  2. i started a list
  3. but deleted it
  4. i noted that after saying i like all numbers
  5. that 25 is not a favorite
  6. but then i remembered my lucky quarter
  7. face up!
  8. i then wrote about my obituary
  9. made the bed and did the dishes, drank coffee
  10. read about trash, fascinating
  11. did not finish some editing work (just remembered)
  12. maggie came home sick, but not really, but maybe
  13. she has trouble with her eyes and it worries me and she gets headaches
  14. i trusted people enough to really hear my thoughts, to learn something amongst them
  15. i read the first five chapters of Pride and Prejudice aloud, with different voices for all of the characters
  16. my Mr. Bennett is not as dry as I’d like, but I’ve got Mrs. Bennett down perfectly
  17. it is imperative that i get some sleep tonight
  18. is it my turn to walk the dog?
  19. Started the day noticing the miracle of flowers and a lit candle on the table
  20. i wanted to write about that
  21. now i have, maybe i won’t forget what i wanted to say
  22. how will i remember this day?
  23. i loved that

May 13 (26)

  1. slept fitfully
  2. woke with a low fever and a headache
  3. lay in bed and read all of Pride and Prejudice
  4. got out of bed and watched 6 hours of BBC Pride and Prejudice
  5. feeling pretty good now, just milking it ; )
  6. now to sleep and feel like i’m going to be up to my old tricks tomorrow

May 14 (27)

almost missed a day
walked drank talked met ate and played
watched birds in the sun

May 15 (28)

found a new flower in the garden
did i plant it?
did it plant itself?

maggie’s team played a very tough game
they did their best
we all felt so proud of their loss–the girls, the coach
and he took them out for ice cream after the game
to celebrate a hard won loss
all the girls, wearing their red jerseys and tall socks
shin guards and face masks
lining up and choosing their cones or cups
and we walked outside
masks removed to eat
they sat along the window to the shop
laughing and eating and the parents
tears in some of our eyes
(at least one of us)
watching them do this thing
children have done after games
but not these children
not for a while
and there we were
seeing each other’s faces

May 16 (29)

  1. taxes are due tomorrow
  2. i haven’t finished them yet
  3. sam’s shoes have holes in them
  4. i have a newsletter/blog idea that i really want to write
  5. maggie has colonial day on tuesday
    a half-day wednesday, eye doctor on thursday
  6. i think i can write on tuesday
    after taxes, before half-day
    and then again on friday
  7. that’s my plan
  8. cicadas are here!
  9. dave plans to cook some
  10. there are too many plates spinning at the moment
  11. i feel like i keep trying to set them down
  12. i don’t remember picking up all of these plates
  13. i have three beautiful bouquets of flowers that i’ve nurtured
    these have brought me quiet beauty and comfort today
  14. there are many weights
  15. that are a part of the many, i was going to say joys,
  16. some things you happily pay the price for
  17. some things you weren’t aware what the price would be
    but you are still ready to pay, it’s worth it
  18. i ate a doughnut today, i think it made me feel more tired
  19. it was yeasty, soft and incredibly delicious
  20. i hope i can sleep tonight

May 17 (30)

  1. saw an indigo bunting while drinking coffee
  2. looked closely through binoculars
  3. had a productive and enjoyable meeting
  4. started reading Anne of Green Gables to my kids
  5. collected emerging cicadas for a culinary experiment
  6. their new wings look like squash blossoms
  7. stopped by the Dairy Godmother for a pint of custard
  8. flavor of the day was Dirty Chai
  9. it’s good
  10. filed the 2021 taxes on time
  11. talked to my mom
  12. forgot to call my sister
  13. worked on some math problems with maggie
  14. exercised my fingers
  15. borrowed something from a neighbor
  16. got to 13
  17. said i would go to sleep early
  18. oops

May 18 (31)

  1. I copied the formatting and removed the extra spaces
  2. I noted I wasn’t continuing the work of the previous night
  3. even though
  4. is it you, the one called resistance?
  5. i looked at the lock on the door this morning and wondered if i should turn it
  6. i left it open
  7. i noticed someone see me walking in the street
  8. i felt uneasy and i thought about it
  9. will i always i wondered
  10. is it something to consider
  11. i wondered
  12. i thought about david whyte
  13. in another context i can’t recall
  14. i watched cicadas in the dark
  15. once they split out of the exoskeletons, hanging upside down
    they flip themselves over, head up, wings down
    and the wings gradually expand
    if they don’t turn this way, the wings can’t form properly
  16. i tried to explain this to a small girl who kept plucking their plump white bodies
    and placing them into a box to watch them turn into full adults
  17. i asked her if the wings would stay shriveled or expand
  18. oh i’ve done this lots of times she said
    but the wings in the box stayed the same while the wings on the tree did not
  19. no cicada sounds yet
  20. i listen through the open window

May 19 (32)

  1. I made the bed
  2. I washed the dishes
    i meditated briefly
    i worked on learning a new song on the piano
    clair de lune
  3. I drank coffee and saw no new birds
  4. I made a plan about putting the graphic novels in a box, for now
  5. I collected all of the graphic novels and put them into a box, for now
  6. I watered some plants
  7. I wrote in my journal. I said:
    i am here and glad to be
    hello ancestors and life of the world
    i asked: are plans a means of trying to control the legend instead of being in the legend?
    i said: let go of outside and inside assessment of value, of measurement
    measurement is not a part of this
    you don’t know the timeline and you don’t need to look at the story from the outside
    i asked: am i willing to do my best to listen to my part of the life of the world today?
    my body said: yes, i am willing to let go of many things and do my best to stay awake to the life of the world today
    i asked: how am i to know what to do in this moment, heart?
  8. i was thirsty
  9. i drank a glass of green smoothie, chunky
  10. i washed my face and rubbed in some scented oil
  11. i cleared my desk
  12. i remembered what i said i would do
  13. i sent a note to a friend who lost two people she loved
  14. i talked to my sister about something that needed resolving
  15. i talked to my mother about the same thing
  16. i sat with maggie, emptied her backpack, talked to her about organization
  17. i ordered bathing suits, and shorts, and pajamas, kids grow quickly
  18. i had an idea for summer journals
  19. i went to the post office
  20. i donated 3 boxes of art and craft supplies
  21. i made lunch
  22. i unloaded the dishwasher
  23. i washed the dishes
  24. i took maggie to soccer
  25. i made sure sam practiced ukulele
  26. i cut dave’s hair
  27. i ordered takeout
  28. i picked up the takeout
  29. i looked at cicadas but i didn’t try to film them, yet
  30. i did think about recording the sound of them as they emerge from the ground
    you can hear it if you’re quiet
    but try getting this group to be quiet around a bunch of emerging cicadas
  31. i saw three smiling faces
  32. i thought about the two universes
  33. i wanted to read more of my book
  34. i made sure my kernel journal was up to date
  35. i took care of more financial business
  36. i felt scared about how easy it can be to spend money
    how quickly it can go
  37. i compared myself to others inadvertently
  38. i chose not to read something
  39. i knew certainly that i did not want to do something
  40. i loaded dishes
  41. i started the dishwasher
  42. i wondered and worried about the cut near Otis the dog’s eye
  43. i wished inma a belated happy birthday

May 24 (33)

  1. i think i slept through the night
  2. sent the kids to school with hot dogs, again
  3. except we had no hot dog buns, so i cut the hot dogs into flat fourths and put them on hamburger buns from the freezer
  4. had coffee on the deck in between rain showers
  5. Otis the dog has sprained his tail swimming in the pond
    he wants to wag it, but it hurts him
    i think he doesn’t know why
  6. i wanted to share some notes i read about animism here
  7. it is very interesting to read Sapiens directly after Ishmael
  8. i wanted to share some things from my morning reflections
    maybe i will stop the list and do that now
    i am very interested by what i am finding

i am here. animism. not a universal god but spirit in the particular things around you.

i am here. awash in connections and activity. approaching reading consciously, not looking for more or to finish quickly.

i am here. and glad to be. here. at the desk. hearing the birds. awake to life. my body supported by this chair and its back. by this house. by the earth. by dave who bought the groceries. by teachers who care for my children. by friends who invite and welcome me. by my creatives who nourish and invite my fullness. by nature that restores. by people i don’t know working to find solutions.

hello ancestors and the life of the world
the animate world, little god in all
distributed god that meets in connection
working through me

i don’t believe in a soul mate
i believe in souls meeting, recognition of connection, resonance, attraction
one instant
knowing connection, eternity, souls exist or
a hint of the feeling of it
and finding it, as they say (who says?) in a single grain of sand. in an eraser.

hello to the eternal life of the world
let go of knowing and planning and predicting and measuring, of inner or outer approval

am i willing to do my best to listen for my part in the life of the world today?

body? you are supported body. you can take the breaths you need. feel the back against the chair.
body, i will do my best to listen to you as we both, one, we one look for omens, pay attention to the life of the world and watch the omens.

body, you don’t serve me. you are me. i am willing to try to learn to listen body to what you can show me. body, listen to hear how you will play a part in the life of the world. feel how in this moment you are a part of the life of the world.

what will i do in this moment, heart?

May 27 (34)

Dave and Maggie have the car on their overnight trip
Sam and I walked from home to dinner
it was an adventure
he didn’t want to go
too hot
we packed our backpack
he went upstairs to change
he came down to surprise me in one of his ‘handsome’ shirts (it has a collar)
we walked down the hill and looked for signs of cicadas
we listened for them
we saw holes
we said: thank you for this shade, trees
thank for for this cool breeze
we recorded the sound when we found a particular bush that was loud
we stopped at the library
we found three new books
we walked to the restaurant
we sat at the table outside and learned how to place an order on my phone
we ordered whatever we wanted
Sam had a pulled pork sandwich, cornbread, and baked beans
he ate the cornbread first
i had a salad and a peach tea blonde ale
i thought: this is my home, i live here
moments later a friend and her two daughters walked by our table
Sam felt: we are at home, we saw our friends here
a man walked by with a pet chicken
the chicken was not on a leash
she was just walking by his side
the man and the chicken walked into the restaurant
they did not leave with any food
i am not sure what the restaurant’s policy on living chickens is
after leaving the restaurant the man placed his chicken on our table
we like chickens
his friend mentioned that there was food on the table, perhaps
so he removed the live chicken from our table and they walked on
Sam wanted to know what happened to the trays when we were finished
did we leave them on the table outside?
this was his first meal at a restaurant in 15 months
I told him i wasn’t sure
a waiter walked past our table and 8-year-old Sam said:
“excuse me, what should we do with our trays when we are finished?”
just like that
the man looked a bit surprised
he responded in a friendly way and left
i was surprised by my son’s self-assurance
i don’t even like to ask those questions
i told him he sounded just like a grown-up
i wanted him to know i was proud of him
maybe that wasn’t the right thing to say, i don’t know
we ate
we talked
we saw another familiar face
and then we walked down the street for custard at the Dairy Godmother
Sam ordered for himself
but not before we had seen the chicken again while waiting outside in the line
the chicken came by and we spoke with the owner and his friend
it was very strange, these two men walking up and down the sidewalk with a chicken
their relationship was unclear (there is a better word but i can’t find it)
they talked about it being funny to walk to the butcher shop with the chicken
i thought they were likely taking some substance
but then, when i mentioned the chicken was probably looking for cicadas, they gave a cogent response
they asked if Sam wanted to pet the chicken
i let hygiene concerns go, i guess it is fine to pet a chicken and then eat ice cream
so he did
and then we ate the ice cream
and then we set off back home
on the way we tried not to step on cracks
and then we found our singing cicada tree again
and then we said thank you
wind for coolness
thank you trees for shade
thank you legs for carrying us
thank you sam for your company
thank you mom for buying dinner
thank you library for books
thank you pig for delicious food
thank you cicadas for making music
thank you dad and maggie for going away so we could have time together
thank you neighbor for driving sam to school
we thought of many more that i don’t remember right now
we found cicada exoskeletons and crumbled them, Sam said we were making molt dust
we arrived home and he declared the outing a terrific success
he was proud we had walked all the way there and back
i think we will both remember it for a long time
after that we read a long book together, the whole thing
and now he is asleep in my room
many other lovely things happened today
i took care of many things that i felt good to take care of
even hard things

June 1 (35)

  1. i decided not to wear my glasses today
    maybe i will do the same tomorrow
  2. i would like to write a list of 20 haiku one day
    i will need to start earlier
  3. only complete exhaustion could give me the courage to share my latest recording
    it is a poem by Mary Oliver (Starfish)
    i played 3 chords and improvised a tune for the poem over them
    i did it as an experiment to see if i might write a poem and sing it this way
    i love this poem
    even though i also think it is okay to lie all day in the sun
    but i get her meaning ; )

June 6 (36)

June 7 (37)

  1. I woke up early and cleared my desk.
  2. I opened my folder and looked through a thick stack of notes.
  3. I tried to remember where I had left off.
  4. Some things felt like they no longer fit.
  5. Some things still felt just right, and surprising. Delightful even.
  6. I had too many unchecked boxes and felt confused.
  7. I went one-by-one. I decided to take care of myself. To do what I knew I needed to do.
  8. I ate breakfast for lunch, and then I had an ice cream sandwich.
  9. Things that needed to be done were done.
  10. I wondered how to create structure for the children’s days
  11. I wondered what would give their days value, usefulness
  12. I felt a bit bleak
  13. i felt surrounded by options for entertainment
    or achievement
  14. that didn’t seem to answer my question
  15. i wondered how to show them what makes life beautiful
  16. how to share something that counters so much of what surrounds them
  17. Sam said he wished he could flip a switch on his brain and see life like a video game
  18. it feels hard for me to type after writing that
  19. i’m sure matthew would say something about my nervous system
  20. i love playing jazz piano

June 18 (38)

  1. i posted the announcement on time
  2. are the lists always indented? that doesn’t look familiar
  3. i took both children to separate eye doctors
  4. and one to pt
  5. Sam and I shook hands and i think it will stick
  6. more drawing, maggie joined the squad today
  7. received an envelope in the mail
  8. looked in my OED
  9. picked some dirt up from my christmas cactus, looked at how it spread on paper
  10. set up the actual summer journals, both kids seemed excited
    and that’s a long enough list for the end of this week
    a lot of transition still happening
    a lot to juggle and a new rhythm to find

June 23 (39)

  1. I never did that day of 20 haiku
  2. I won’t tomorrow, tomorrow is the day we pack the car and figure out how to keep the fish and the lemon tree alive while we are gone
  3. I know it isn’t nice, but the fish is of less concern than the tree
  4. He was acquired rather than purchased and he is nocturnal
    and has a lifespan of something like 18 years
    his tank has to be cleaned weekly and requires both electricity and a plastic filter
    we eat fish, but he is not edible
    or maybe just not palatable
    (I don’t think anyone in the family would take issue with eating ‘Flappy’ for emotional reasons)
    (maybe it is the name, but i think it is that he just sleeps all day behind a rock getting bigger and spreading poop ribbons)
    also i don’t think he is a native species so we have visions of releasing him and spawning some demon scourge
    we talk about returning him to his source, that is sort of the plan,
    but the hours grow shorter before our departure
  5. I am still drawing with Sam
    Maggie has joined us
    which introduces a different energy to the exercise
    I can think about that
    I can approach it with intention
    I can invite intention
  6. In my morning reflection I am reminding myself:
    to see Maggie
    to see Sam
    to let myself be seen
  7. I am working on seeing the life of the world and being seen by the life of the world
  8. both hard to do
  9. i am not used to letting myself be seen
  10. i am practicing the skill of letting myself be seen
    and of seeing, doing my best to see
  11. yesterday i realized that I (me) am the part of the life of the world that I have been entrusted to care for
    i ask my ancestors/the life of the world – how can i know what to do? how can i know how to help or how to listen?
    and yesterday it occurred to me: the one thing you have definitely been entrusted with in the life of the world is this one piece of the life of the world that you carry with you wherever you go. And the two other (currently) smaller pieces that to some extent still depend on you. That is the life of the world that you are clearly responsible for.
    It felt so amazing to me. That my body is the conduit to all connection with the life of the world. Yet all that we are taught about bodies as the source of etc. etc. Those are new glimmers in my daily reflection practice.
  12. I would like to do a mid-year review in my kernel journal
    it wouldn’t really be a review, i think i will call it a mid-year reflection
    i’m not getting or giving a grade
    i’m just saying hi, and noting, and marking
  13. i liked what Inma said about love going slowly
  14. and i’m thinking about Sana’s proposal with excitement, imagining a roadtrip and who i could pick up along the way : )
  15. I’m thinking about my contributions for the Brew gallery, not sure what I want to share this time, wishing I could find one of those time-warp cabins where you go out there and life outside stands still and I could spend two months writing and organizing and then step out back into time and no one would have noticed my absence
  16. of course you do age in a time-warp cabins, you don’t just get free extra time
  17. i have received my paper, i have begun my piece, i will finish and send it tomorrow – that is the plan
  18. i usually think i would like to move ‘away’ but i have such a lovely fig tree and i love the room that i write in. I have made it a room I love to be in. I have done that this year. Since we have been in Creative Community.
  19. Tommy said that I have transformed my situation. That my concerns today are different from those a year ago. Hearing Tommy say that, I recognized it as the truth.
  20. I have allowed myself to be seen. By me.